What Do I Do
For a Toothache? - rinse mouth with warm water.
Use dental floss to remove any food trapped between the teeth,
then rinse. If there's swelling, place an ice pack or cold compress
on the outside of the cheek (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off). Do
not use heat. An aspirin or aspirin substitute may be taken orally
to relieve pain. Do not place directly on gum tissue as this may
result in a burn. See Dr Fagan as soon as possible.
There's Something Wedged Between My Teeth;
How Should I Handle It Properly? - try to remove
the object with dental floss, and then rinse vigorously with water
to remove any remaining particles. Do not try to remove it with
a sharp or pointed instrument. If you can't remove it, see Dr
Fagan as soon as possible.
My Son Knocked Out a Tooth, How Do I Handle
This? - if possible, retrieve the tooth. If it
is a baby tooth, place it in a container of milk, salt water or
the patient's saliva. If these are unavailable, use water. If
it is a permanent tooth take care not to touch the root and carefully
insert the tooth back in place.See Dr Fagan as soon as possible.
Are Dental Sealants and How Do I Know if My Child Needs Them?
A dental sealant creates a highly effective barrier against decay.
Sealants are thin plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces
of a child's permanent back teeth, where most cavities form. Applying
a sealant is not painful and can be performed in one dental visit.
Dr. Fagan can tell you whether your child might benefit from a
I've Got a Broken Tooth
- gently clean dirt or debris from injured area with an antiseptic
oral cleanser. Place ice pack or cold compress on the face in
the area of the injured tooth to minimize swelling. If the tooth
has created a sharp edge, cover with paraffin (wax) to prevent
lacerations to the gums or cheek. See Dr Fagan as soon as possible.
I bit my Lip/Tongue- is there anyhting
that I should do? - apply direct pressure to the
bleeding area for 15 to 20 minutes using sterile gauze. Rinse
with an oral cleanser to alleviate bleeding and clean the wound.
If swelling is present, apply ice pack or cold compress. If bleeding
continues, go to a hospital emergency room.
How Do I Know if I Have Gingivitis?
Classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen,
tender gums that may bleed when you brush. Another sign of gum
disease is gums that have receded or pulled away from your teeth,
giving your teeth an elongated appearance. Gum disease can cause
pockets to form between the teeth and gums, where plaque and food
debris collect. Some people may experience recurring bad breath
or a bad taste in their mouth, even if the disease is not advanced.
How Can I Prevent Gingivitis?
Good oral hygiene is essential. Professional cleanings are also
extremely important because once plaque has hardened and built
up, or become tartar, only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove
it. You can help stop gingivitis before it develops by:
- Proper brushing and flossing to remove plaque and debris
and control tartar buildup
- Eating right to ensure proper nutrition for your jawbone
- Avoiding cigarettes and other forms of tobacco
- Scheduling regular checkups with your dentist
How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
Gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common among
adults. If detected in its early stages, gum disease can be reversed
so see your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
- Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth,
creating a pocket
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Pus coming from between your teeth and gums
- Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
How is Gum Disease Treated?
The early stages of gum disease can often be reversed with proper
brushing and flossing. Good oral health will help keep plaque
from building up. A professional cleaning by your dentist or hygienist
is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and hardened
into tartar. Your dentist or hygienist will clean or "scale"
your teeth to remove the tartar above and below the gumline. If
your condition is more severe, a root planing procedure may be
performed. Root planing helps to smooth irregularities on the
roots of the teeth making it more difficult for plaque to deposit
Should My Child Begin Flossing?
Because flossing removes
food particles and plaque between teeth that brushing misses,
you should floss for your children beginning at age four. By the
time they reach age eight, most kids can begin flossing for themselves.
What Is Fluoride and How Do I Know if
My Child Is Getting the Right Amount?
Fluoride is one of the best ways to help prevent against tooth
decay. A naturally occurring mineral, fluoride combines with the
tooth's enamel to strengthen it. In many municipal water supplies,
the right amount of fluoride is added for proper tooth development.
To find out whether your water contains fluoride, and how much,
call your local water district. If your water supply does not
contain any (or enough) fluoride, your child's pediatrician or
Dr. Fagan may suggest using fluoride drops or a mouth rinse in
addition to a fluoride toothpaste.
How Important Is Diet to My Child's Oral
A balanced diet is necessary for your child to develop strong,
decay-resistant teeth. In addition to a full range of vitamins
and minerals, a child's diet should include plenty of calcium,
phosphorous, and proper levels of fluoride.
If fluoride is your child's greatest protection against tooth
decay, then frequent snacking may be the biggest enemy. The sugars
and starches found in many foods and snacks like cookies, candies,
dried fruit, soft drinks, pretzels and potato chips combine with
plaque on teeth to create acids. These acids attack the tooth
enamel and may lead to cavities.
Each "plaque attack" can last up to 20 minutes after
a meal or snack has been finished. Even a little nibble can create
plaque acids. So it's best to limit snacking between meals.
What Should I Do For a Canker or Mouth
Sore? - canker sores are small white wounds inside
the mouth on the cheek, gums or tongue. They can be caused by
cheek biting, vigorous tooth brushing, burns from hot foods and
irritation from braces or dentures. The bubbling action of an
oxygenating cleanser removes food particles and other irritants
from the sore. As it seals, the liquid transforms to a thin, flexible
protective barrier over the affected area, sealing off the nerve
endings for hours — so you can eat and drink without the pain.